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You know the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW)? Or at least the stooge sellouts that run it. You can always find them bootlicking the Republican Commander-In-Chief at the annual VFW convention regardless of what the President has done to abuse those in the military. No body armor? So what?. No vehicle armor? Who cares? Three or four renditions to Iraq per military unit? C'mon you slackers.

The following article certainly isn't breaking news but it's stand up or shut up time for the VFW. After all, on the web site for the VFW is this: The VFW continues to be the nation's strongest voice for veterans and the catalyst for change in improving veteran's benefits.

It's in your court VFW Administration. Show us your true colors. Are you truly with the vets or is backslapping with the President more important to you?

Troops Who Show Signs of Mental Illness Are Being Forced Into Combat, Newspaper Reports

The Associated Press
May 13, 2006

U.S. military troops with severe psychological problems have been sent to Iraq or kept in combat, even when superiors have been aware of signs of mental illness, a newspaper reported for Sunday editions.

The Hartford Courant, citing records obtained under the federal Freedom of Information Act and more than 100 interviews of families and military personnel, reported numerous cases in which the military failed to follow its own regulations in screening, treating and evacuating mentally unfit troops from Iraq.

In 1997, Congress ordered the military to assess the mental health of all deploying troops. The newspaper, citing Pentagon statistics, said fewer than 1 in 300 service members were referred to a mental health professional before shipping out for Iraq as of October 2005.

Twenty-two U.S. troops committed suicide in Iraq last year, accounting for nearly one in five of all non-combat deaths and the highest suicide rate since the war started, the newspaper said.

Some service members who committed suicide in 2004 and 2005 were kept on duty despite clear signs of mental distress, sometimes after being prescribed antidepressants with little or no mental health counseling or monitoring, the Courant reported. Those findings conflict with regulations adopted last year by the Army that caution against the use of antidepressants for "extended deployments."

Originally posted to Cogitator on Mon May 15, 2006 at 06:51 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I think you're confused... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sharon Jumper

    It's the American Legion who are the serious GOP bootlickers, not the VFW.  See, to get in the VFW you must have actually served in combat.  Meanwhile, all the rear-echelon types who never fired a rifle outside of boot camp can join the American Legion.

    "Finally, a sex scandal!"
    - Stephanie Miller

    by Leggy Starlitz on Mon May 15, 2006 at 06:59:45 PM PDT

    •  Not always 'actual' combat (0+ / 0-)

      Hubby and I did active duty tours in Korea in 84-85 and that's how we qualified to join VFW.  We did see a few firefights on the DMZ but all we had to do when we joined was submit a copy of our DD214 showing a tour in Korea, which technically is/was still a "war zone."

      You can see photos and read the journal from my recent trip to Afghanistan here.

      by Sharon Jumper on Mon May 15, 2006 at 07:12:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  At the National level both do (0+ / 0-)

      I'm not a member of either organization because of it.  My father has been a member of the American Legion for 65 years. My Grandfather, a Post Commander.  When I returned from Viet Nam I expected to be asked to join - I thought that the 3rd generation would be important to them.

      No one asked.  No one.  That was a war not good enough.

      Am I surprised?  No.

      As I write this, a former Post Adjutant and long-time friend my father lies dieing alone except for the two of us.  No one else has visited him.  No one.

      "Time to clean out the crap in Congress" - Jesus (D) Nazareth

      by llbear on Mon May 15, 2006 at 07:29:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Unbelievable (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    viral

    And yet more and more the unbelievable is happening on a daily basis.

    Antidepressants can be prescribed for a wide variety of reasons, and form an important part of treatment for people suffering from depression, either chronic or temporary.

    Just because a person is suffering from depression does not mean that they cannot be functional under ordinary circumstances.

    War is not an ordinary circumstance.

    Putting a person suffering from depression into a front line combat position is.a.cruel.form.of.abuse.

    It does not mean that they cannot serve, but they should serve stateside, with ready access to treatment, for as long as the depression persists.

    Live Free or Die-words to live by

    by ForFreedom on Mon May 15, 2006 at 07:02:55 PM PDT

  •  Call them out. Let's see how much they (0+ / 0-)

    love their brothers and sisters in arms. Maybe they need to listen to some first hand stories.

    http://www.npr.org/...
    http://www.npr.org/...
    http://www.dailykos.com/...
    http://www.pbs.org/...
    http://www.cinchouse.com/...
    http://www.mfso.org/...
    http://www.npr.org/...

    From last link:

    When Monica and Scott Fink got married, he was a phone company employee who spent one weekend a month in the National Guard. And then he was sent to Iraq. Scott Fink returned home this week, and Debbie Elliott has the first of a series following the Finks as they get used to life on the home front.

    Mehlman - How long have you hated, and robbed, and abused and mocked America? bt dash888 DailyKos

    by Carbide Bit on Mon May 15, 2006 at 07:03:40 PM PDT

  •  UH, excuse me (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fgentile, woldoog

    I think that you're confusing the VFW with the American Legion.  Here's a photo from when Bush was speaking at the VFW convention:

    My husband and I were members of both groups, but did not renew our American Legion memberships when the AL leader came out and said that criticizing the war was unpatriotic.  The VFW has taken a more neutral stance with respect to the political side of the war, but has been forceful in advocating for the troops.

    You can see photos and read the journal from my recent trip to Afghanistan here.

    by Sharon Jumper on Mon May 15, 2006 at 07:07:29 PM PDT

  •  The main function of the VFW (0+ / 0-)

    is to provide a liquor license so old fucks can go to a bar, pay cheap prices for cheap booze, scratch their balls, burp, and drive home drunk hoping to pick off a few liberals in volvos on their way home.

    I kinda like Howard Dean, it's those wild eye crazies that came with him I wonder about!

    by redlief on Mon May 15, 2006 at 07:21:07 PM PDT

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